§ Mr. Maclennan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he has taken to have measurements made of the toxicity of waste being dumped from the aluminium smelter at Invergordon in the Cromarty Firth; and if he will now take steps to protect the fishing grounds there from damage by such waste.
§ Mr. John MacKay
A licence under the Dumping at Sea Act 1974 has been granted for disposal at sea of certain waste from the smelter at Invergordon. The licence, which was issued only after extensive tests of the material were carried out by my Department's scientists, lays down conditions designed to ensure that the waste is environmentally acceptable immediately following dumping in the sea. The scientists' findings were discussed with the local fishing interests before a licence was issued. Subsequent surveys have identified no adverse effects on commercial fish stocks in the area.
It is a requirement that the material should be dumped in an existing dumping ground in the Moray Firth. My Department is currently investigating reports of damage caused to fishing gear by waste materials allegedly found outwith the dumping site.